As summer draws near, New Port Richey air conditioning systems are getting tuned up and turned on. Quite often, we get a call about a system that seems to run too frequently. If it feels like your cooling system never really turns off, that can be a serious cause for concern.
If there’s something wrong, it’s going to show up in ways that you could live without – higher energy bills or breakdowns right when you are least capable of dealing with them.
New Port Richey AC Repair contractors are more experienced than most with systems running constantly. The high temperatures we experience every summer make many homeowners assume that a non-stop air conditioner is normal.
In fact, that’s not always wrong – there are situations in which it is perfectly normal. In the summer, particularly somewhere this hot, it isn’t uncommon for a system to run pretty often. In fact, that can be good – long cycles help a central air conditioner run efficiently and help humidity issues.
Also, starting and stopping are more stressful to the system than running, and so long cycles may be a good thing.
However, if your air conditioning system literally never stops running, and you’re not comfortable in your home or it doesn’t reach the temperature on the thermostat, you have a problem. For your sake, we’re going to cover some problems that could be at the heart of your system’s behavior.
Why Your System May Keep Going, and Going, and Going, and Going, and …
1. Size matters. We’ll start with the worst case scenario – that your system is the wrong size for your home. HVAC technicians are always seeking a Goldilocks Effect regarding their installations – it needs to be just right, or your home will be too hot or too cold.
In order to operate at the efficiency level on the Energy Star label when you bought it, your system needs to be matched to your home. That means that it must be the appropriate size and power for the home in which it is installed.
If too large or too small, you’ll immediately notice problems. Unfortunately, the only reliable solution for an improperly sized system is a new replacement system, or at the very least the additional of supplement cooling.
The cost of these things might be hard to swallow, but air conditioning repair prices only get higher the longer you wait to have problems fixed.
Too Small: If the system is too small, you’ll notice precisely the behavior that this article is focusing on. It will run all the time, because it has to work harder to cool a space that is too large. This will keep it from achieving maximum efficiency, and you’ll have higher bills.
Even worse, your home will never quite achieve the desired comfort level, and the system will have a shortened lifespan because parts will wear out faster than they should. The part most at risk from an undersized system, by the way, is the compressor – which is expensive, and definitely not something you want to replace.
Too Large: Rather than running too often, an oversized system will short-cycle, which will result in uncomfortably humid air and lots of starting and stopping. That’s inefficient, and will raise your energy bills as much as an undersized system, if not more.
Undersized ducts: If your system is the right size but your ducts are not, you may experience running issues because the ducts can’t adequately manage airflow. That could lead to hot or cool rooms, and if one of those rooms contains the thermostat, you’ll likely see a system that runs constantly.
Also, speaking of thermostats:
2. Thermostats aren’t infallible. If your thermostat isn’t working properly, neither is your air conditioner. It may be that your home and your air conditioner are both fine, but the thermostat doesn’t know this, and so it won’t send the signals to the air conditioner to stop its cooling cycle.
If a thermostat is faulty, your AC system may run constantly, in fits and starts, or not at all. The thermostat is the brains of the operation. You can check your thermostat in a few different ways:
3. Airflow issues can lead to many problems. If you are noticing weak airflow in addition to the system running constantly, then you may have issues related to air circulation. The outdoor unit may not be the issue, however – your indoor air handler may have a faulty motor.
Your ductwork could be damaged or incorrectly installed. Your air filters could be dirty, or your vents could be blocked or closed. Any of those would cause restricted airflow. In New Port Richey, air conditioning systems with poor airflow are likely to run constantly to try to overcome that and cool your home.
Having that checked out by a professional as soon as possible can help stop more serious problems. And while we’re on the topic of maintenance:
4. Maintenance is preventive medicine for air conditioners. Think of air conditioners the way you think of cars. Would you drive your car 10,000 miles without having the oil changed? Of course not, and if you did, you wouldn’t be surprised when the “Check Engine” light flicked on.
Yet many homeowners forget to have preventive maintenance on their car. Dirty filters, ducts or coils can all have a damaging effect on your system’s ability to run, resulting in longer or shorter run cycles.
Having a professional give your system the all-important tune-up will help diagnose and repair small problems before they have a chance to become big ones. This will lengthen the overall life of your system, and help it to run as efficiently – and cheaply – as possible.
New Port Richey AC Repair technicians are experts, and qualified to perform an annual or bi-annual tune-up on your central air conditioner.
When you live somewhere as warm as New Port Richey, AC repair isn’t something you want to slack on. Florida summers can be treacherous to the unprepared – but don’t worry, that’s what these articles are all about!
The most useful piece of information we hand out to all of our customers is: don’t wait – deal with your HVAC problems as early as possible. That’s because the longer you wait, the more opportunity those problems will have to spread and multiply. A simple repair now could be a big financial problem in just a few weeks.
If you’re experiencing a very specific symptom – your air conditioner turning on and off too frequently – then you’re dealing with what we call short cycling. It can affect heating, as well as as air conditioning and it is the kind of problem that can have many causes.
Remember, though, if you need a New Port Richey air conditioning expert, we’re never more than a call or email away.
Short Cycling: Explained
If you don’t know exactly what’s happening, we’ll start with a little background. In HVAC, the time between an air conditioner turning on and off is a “cycle.” It’s a short cycle when it happens too often. It’s bad for many reasons:
Reduced energy efficiency. An air conditioner doesn’t reach peak efficiency until it has already run for several minutes. It takes more energy to start the motor than it does to keep it running. This means that a short cycle is increasing your energy consumption. That manifests in a most unwelcome way: higher energy bills.
Wear and tear. Your system is supposed to be good for 10-15 years, right? Not if it’s short cycling. You could see a drastically reduced lifespan if this issue is left unchecked. The start-and-stop is more stressful on your air conditioner than running regular cycles.
Poor performance. Your home is going to be less comfortable if your central air is short cycling. It can cause temperature swings, and humidity is not going to be well controlled. A full cycle will cool evenly and dehumidify the air. No matter what’s causing it, short cycling will weaken your system’s ability to do any of those things.
Short Cycling: What Causes It?
Short cycling isn’t uncommon at all. You shouldn’t be panicking if it’s happening to you. Many of the causes are simple enough to fix, and assuming you’ve acted quickly, New Port Richey AC repair specialists are going to get your home’s cooling needs under control.
Here are some of the causes of short cycling:
When that happens, dirt, dust, mold, mildew, and other debris can build up on your filter. This makes it impossible for air to circulate properly, which can in turn cause your system to overheat and power down.
They aren’t able to cool or dehumidify the air, and it can cause a whole host of issues with your residential central air system, including short cycling. If ice is your problem, time to thaw and a thorough cleaning are the remedy, and it’s best if those are performed by qualified HVAC contractors.
Leaks are the only cause of low refrigerant – none of the substance is actually used up in the cooling process, and it’s kept in a closed, pressurized system. You’ll need a New Port Richey air conditioning repair tech to come out, find and repair the leak, and restore the levels of refrigerant to their correct amount.
Prices of refrigerant can vary depending on whether or not your system is old enough to still be using outdated R22 (Freon) instead of a newer, more eco-friendly refrigerant. If your system is old enough to be using R22, short-cycling could be one of many problems you’re facing, and it may be time to upgrade.
A faulty thermostat can cause short cycling, as well, as it is not sending correct signals to your central air conditioner.
That may seem counterintuitive, but it’s accurate. Rather than working better or faster, it will overwhelm your home with cold air that it won’t have time to properly dehumidify before it reaches the correct temperature, and it will shut down.
Then, because it hasn’t cooled evenly, it will turn back on again in reaction to temperature swings in your home. Not only will this reduce comfort, but it will also put a lot of stress on the air conditioner and increase the cost of operation.
If your home cooling system is short cycling, contact New Port Richey Air Conditioning Repair today, and let us solve your problems.
Call us today at 727-270-9819 today and save $35 with your paid repair!